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Cross Country Sets Sight on Season Opener

Thomas will look to once again lead the women's team in 2012

AKRON, Ohio- The Marshall University cross country team is gearing-up for the Tommy Evans Invitational, hosted by the University of Akron this Thursday at the Firestone Metro Park.

The 44th running of the Tommy Evans Invitational will begin with the women’s race at 5:30 p.m., and conclude with the men’s race at 6:15 p.m. The awards ceremony is set for 7:15 that same evening.

Despite graduating last season’s leading runner in Matt Schiffbauer, the Thundering Herd welcomes the return of senior David Caldwell, who finished second only to Schiffbauer at a majority of last season’s meets. Ryan Bowser and Caleb Bowen also return to round-out a Marshall men’s squad that will hope to start the 2012 season with a successful showing in Akron.

On the women’s side, both of last fall’s top runners return as Leslie Thomas and Kelley Mortakis take to the trails for their respective junior and senior years. The pair will likely play a large role if the women’s team is to rebound from a 2011 season that included a last-place finish at the C-USA Championships. The Thursday meet will present the women’s team with its first chance to reverse those fortunes and return to winning ways.

The Tommy Evans Invitational will be the first of at least six races the Herd participates in during 2012, and will be one of three meets set to take place for the team during the month of September. Meet results for both the men’s and women’s races will be available on at the conclusion of the event.